When friendships end . . .

I seem to have more than my fair share of ailing and failing friendships, and it has me a little bit concerned.  In the course of my life, I have let some friendships wane out of a too-busy life and I have allowed some to fade because of disagreements and hurts.  The worst of these happened a few years ago between me and a dear friend of more than a decade.  The worst part about it was that during the year that we stopped speaking, she developed cancer and died before I could apologize or mend fences.  I refuse to ever let that happen again.

Some friendships can take a heavy blow and bounce back because both parties are willing to be vulnerable and communicate their hurts.  Others, get stuck and never recover.  I think that when friends fall out of our lives, it is ultimately because a shift occurs and the friendship is no longer serving both parties.  It doesn’t have to be a bad thing, it is just a thing that happens and it hurts.  That person often becomes the “someone I used to know” that Gotye sings about.  Of course, he is singing about a lover, but the message is basically the same.

I recently fell out with two different friends, one male and one female, for vastly different reasons.  Maybe I am just too hard on the people I call my friends.  I insist that they have integrity, are truthful and that they walk their talk. In my opinion, a true friend is one that will call you out on your shit and wants you to do the same for them. That, to me, is the greatest gift we can give our friends.

There’s only one problem with this scenario; the truth looks different depending on one’s perspective.   Sometimes we just have to decide if we are willing to take all the blame for something or if we are going to stand up for our beliefs and toe the line.  I am a big fan of standing up for my beliefs and for my worth, though it’s a belated gift that I am finally giving myself.

For the longest time, I had a hard time finding my voice. It was like my throat chakra was in a knot.  I would let people take me for granted.  I would allow them to treat me with disrespect, and I would keep my mouth shut out of fear of losing them.  Then one day, I woke up and realized the disservice I was doing to my Self.  That pesky fear of abandonment finally lost its grip and I am forever changed because of it.

Friendships end.  That is life and it is an inevitable part of being human.  There doesn’t have to be any judgement about it.  There doesn’t have to be any blame.  For all the friends I have lost during my life, I have also managed to save a few.  I have made amends and been willing to communicate and heal the hurts and miscommunications, but only because the other person was also willing.  For those friendships, I am even more grateful because they are a mirror of hope and self-worth, and that seems to be the bigger theme that is occurring in my life these days.

For my birthday, a friend did a spiritual reading on me and said that I needed to journal daily that “I am worthy.”  She also suggested that I say it while I stare at myself in the mirror.   I thought it was strange at first, but I did it anyway.  After a few tries, I was able to add a little more to the sentence.  “I am worthy of love.” “I am worthy of success.”  “I am worthy of a faithful partner.” “I am worthy of abundance.”  I am worthy of being seen, of being heard, of happiness, peace, wholeness, stability, great friends . . . . well, you get the idea.

The words “I am” create a complete sentence, and they are the most powerful words we can say.  They are magic and anything that we add to them becomes a mantra that anchors and creates the life that we want and deserve.   If you don’t believe me, try it. Just remember, using “I am” to judge and knock yourself down is just as powerful so it’s important to be mindful.  You can just as easily create a life that you don’t want if you use this phrase without proper intention.

When my son was little, we had a favorite book called Unloveable by Dan Yaccarino.  It was about this little dog who thought he was unloveable because the cat,  the fish and the bird told him so.  Then one day, he met a new friend who reminded him that he was absolutely lovable.  Find those friends.  They are the ones worth fighting for, and they will be the ones who remind you that you are absolutely lovable and worthy no matter what.

For the Love of Yoga

Today was one of those bittersweet kind of days.  It was the final class with some of my most dedicated and adventurous yoga students, at a location that was one of my very first yoga employers.  I’ve been with this company longer than I was even married!  It was bittersweet because I recently decided to give up the financially unstable environment of teaching yoga as my main job, to working full time for someone else, and teaching yoga a lot less. I start tomorrow.

The thing that no one tells you about yoga is how much you will grow to love it, and how often the people that you see in your classes will become some of your best friends.  I’m not sure why yoga has this effect on us.  I think it has something to do with the fact that it takes you to a previously un-investigated place within yourself, and pulls that to the surface. The fears that used to rule your every thought, word and deed are replaced with confidence and acceptance within yourself.

In yoga, all of our credentials are removed.  If you are a doctor or a literary PhD, it does not matter one bit.  If you’ve never been married, or if you have been divorced four times, no-one will know that.  In a yoga class, you are just a person in workout clothes, probably no makeup, and you are at your most vulnerable.  I think that is it.  That is where the playing field gets leveled.  When you walk into a yoga class, you have the potential to become emotionally exposed.  It can be raw, and it can be life-changing.

A few students took me out to lunch after this class today, and although I promised myself I would not cry, and I even went out on a limb and wore non-waterproof mascara, it was inevitable.  One student brought her five year old little girl with her.  She came up to me with a little rose that she picked and thanked me for teaching her Mom yoga.  (Sniff) Another student told me how many times she had cried in class, and how much she had grown and learned about herself and her practice. She said, “even if you don’t realize it, you have changed a lot of people’s lives.”  That was it, I just sobbed.

I remember when I was a little girl, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do when I grew up.  Well that’s not true.  When I was really little, I wanted to collect all the animals that had been run over, and were dying on the side of the road, and try to save them.   When I grew up a little and realized how impossible that dream was, I expanded it to include people.  I just wanted to “help” people.   It was like that little mantra was planted into my head at birth.  So that is what I do.  It doesn’t matter if it is with words, poems, feng shui, yoga, gardening or some other action.  All of the things that light me up are the way that I try to help people light themselves up.  I just want to remind them in some way how truly Divine they are, and to help them go out and share that with the world.

So to all of my students, past, present and future, thank you for helping me to live my passion, and to share it with you. The Divine in Me Bows, to the Divine in You ~ Namaste!

“The fact is that there is nothing more beautiful, more worthy or more conscious than you.” ~ Yogi Bhajan